One thing led to another, and I became aware of blogger Bob Lotich and his website through Chris Walker who will be leading an upcoming evangelism training at Victory Bible Camp in Palmer. More about Chris in a future blog. Chris recently featured Bob Lotich as guest blog on his site. Bob has generously allowed me to share it with you.
Why I've Run From Churches - Bob Lotich
(Excerpted with permission from Bob Lotich's Website)
Let me start by saying that I have been planted in my current church for over 10 years. I deeply believe in the value of staying in the church that God plants you in rather than just leaving as soon as you get offended. That said, I have lived in a few different cities and have visited quite a few churches in each one when trying to find out where to land. I have seen some wonderful things and I have seen some things that made me want to run for the doors. These are the things that caused me to run for the door:
Everything was mediocre.
Mediocrity has been too prevalent in the church today. Be it marketing, music, teaching, evangelism or anything else, it should be excellent. Just a few hundred years ago the greatest music, paintings, literature, etc. were glorifying God. It offends me that the word "Christian" is used as an adjective that is synonymous with mediocre by some non-Christians. It should not be.
The place was full of strife.
The Bible has some very strong things to say about strife and it also says that they will know that we are Christians by the love that we have for one another (John 13:35).
Back-biting, selfish-ambition and gossip are things that I expect to see on a soap-opera, not in my church. I realize that people are not perfect and that everyone makes a mistake, but when I see strife as a defining characteristic of a church it makes me want to look elsewhere.
There was an unwillingness to adapt.
Paul became all things to all people in order that he could win them. I am reminded of a church near me that built a state-of-the-art skate park in order to give a young and notoriously rebellious generation a place to skate--all in order to win them to Jesus.
Another church I know of created a haunted house to compete with all the others during the Halloween season. The house shows the scariest thing--hell. It then shows the visitors Jesus and why he died. It is top-notch and thousands of people wait in line for hours each year to get in.
They tickled the ears of the congregation.
There are a lot of people who do not want to be challenged in their faith walk. They want what they believe preached to them, rather than having the truth preached to them. It is easy for churches to get caught up in just trying to keep the congregation happy rather than speaking the truth of the Bible.
The real truth is that churches like this are doing a tremendous disservice to the kingdom of God and to the congregants themselves. The congregants who refuse to grow end up hanging around, while the hungry Christians take off to some place where they can have the unfiltered truth spoken to them.
It is not led with passion.
I want to follow a leader who believes what he is saying. Someone who is not just speaking words that he read, but rather speaking with truths that have changed his life and the corresponding passion that follows.
It is impossible for someone to truly be passionate about something that they are not sure about. I want to follow a leader who has seen God work in his life and who has seen the Word change him in real and practical ways.
There is a new breed that is rebelling against the self-satisfying lifestyles they see all around them. They are eager to be challenged and are willing to lay down their lives for the call. This provides a great opportunity for churches to step up and create a church they want to go to.